I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Swedish apologies

Swedes are extremely punctual, and it's considered very rude to be even a few minutes late. So when I requested a taxi to take me to the airport this morning, I didn't doubt that it would arrive promptly at 7:15.

I picked 7:15 rather than 7:00 because the hotel doesn't start serving breakfast until 7:00, and I wanted to leave time for a quick cup of coffee. And I planned my morning backwards from that point with an efficiency that demonstrated just how Swedish I've become: shower at 6:30, finish packing at 6:40, checkout at 6:50.

But it took me longer than I expected to drag my luggage from my room to the reception desk -- damn those candlesticks I had to buy in Söder! -- but I was checked out and sitting down with my coffee at 7:10. Not bad, I thought.

I had exactly one sip of coffee before realizing I had left my passport in the safe in my room. I hurried back to reception, waited while they made me a new room key, dashed down the path to the rooms, passing my taxi on the way and offering a quick apology to the driver, retrieved the passport, passed the driver again on my way back to the front desk, apologizing again of course, returned the key, got my luggage, and dragged it back out to the patiently waiting driver. 

I got in the cab and apologized yet again. Fortunately, I know three different ways to say I'm sorry in Swedish, because I ended up using all of them.

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